The other day I received an afternoon text from Golden Boy Martin Gero: “Are you and Carl free for dinner tonight?”.

“Will check with Carl,”I responded.  And then, before I fully committed: “Where to?”

“416 Snackbar?”


I’d heard good things about the place, a restaurant that specialized in comfort finger food.  Apparently, it was a cutlery-free establishment, so I looked forward to seeing how, exactly, we were going to sample the wide variety of offerings.  Turns out the answer was pretty simple: take a bite and pass it along.

Carl gets comfy.
Heeeey! It's Marty G.
Special guest diner: Mike Banacek, P.I.!

 We had just taken our seats when I heard someone outside shout: “Goddamn it!”.  I turned and noticed a heavy-set fellow with a shaved head staggering about.  I assumed he was an angry drunk and redirected my focus back to the menu when one of the girls at the next table waved down our waitress.  The guy was hurt.  I turned back.  Indeed.  He was sitting on the floor, bleeding from a nasty-looking cut to his forehead.  Turns out he wasn’t a stumbling drunk but a stumbling guy who’d been unloading packages from a truck when the back door had swung back and conked him in the head.  Hard.

Marty G. and Mike were on their feet and out the door, calling 911, then comforting the guy while they waited for help to arrive.  I contributed by informing the guy that “Chicks dig scars.” which really seemed to hearten him.

Anyway, the paramedics arrived, he was treated, and we all returned to the table for a meal of numerous small bites.

No love for the heirloom tart but the steak tartare was a winner, even among the non raw meat-eaters.

The Scotch Egg Benny was a huge hit.

Akemi and Martin seemed to really enjoy the “rabbit food”, mystery ingredients + corn (?) wrapped in a lettuce leaf.

Damn. I was really looking forward to these stuffed zucchini flowers. Not at all how mom used to make 'em.

We did the steamed buns three ways: meat, fish, and veggie.  All quite good but the crispy fried fish bun was perhaps the best thing I had that night.  Another highlight was the Mini Mac – not macaroni and cheese but a miniature Big Mac.

For dessert: S'more. Akemi's first - but certainly not her last. "I love!"she said before polishing off all three orders.

All in all, a resounding “meh”.

On the other hand, a terrific time last night at a place called Trevor Kitchen where I enjoyed a terrific salt cured foie gras club with salt pickle chips and some truffled goat cheese poutine with seared foie gras.  Tonight, I head over to Alexander and Sarah’s for a barbecue.  While Akemi cooked up some caramelized onions, I picked up sliders…

The selection includes buffalo, wild board, kangaroo, and camel. Wonder which one Alex will prefer...

29 thoughts on “September 3, 2011: That dinner with Marty G.!

  1. Whoa. Carl’s looking hawt… *wriggles eyebrows*

    Also, I always tell injured people that scars are sexy…and it DOES hearten them.

    Gotta run…last couple days have been crazy busy!



  2. Bravo to Marty G and Mike B! Oh, snd you, too, for trying to entertain the poor guy.

  3. Joe, your food pictures always make me hungry. 🙂 And tell Akemi that I love s’mores too.

    Have a great evening!!!!

  4. PS Those medical lab results I mentioned? All good, which left us a bit mystified due to continuing symptoms.

    After frank discussion, Dr. Specialist suggested I resume a certain medicine (stopped taking it months ago). That may be the key. Still going forward with other diagnostics and therapies.

  5. Jewel Staite was there last week and had some of the same things you did. 🙂

  6. Yay, another pix of Carl smiling.
    Wave to Carl, MartyG, Mike, and Akemi!!!
    Gotta make a note that if and whenever in Toronto, to visit 416. Nice.
    Re the sliders, well…the buffalo and boar should be good. Will wait for your report on the reception to the selection.
    Yep….the JOE is back!

  7. I like the idea of a finger food place. Some of the selections look rather tasty, and are giving me some ideas. More importantly, great to see Carl B. and Marty G. in good form. Thanks for sharing, andhope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  8. Wild board? Okey doke, Joe! Why would anybody eat kangaroo and/or camel? Conversely, the s’more made my mouth water. 🙂 You guys are great for helping out the hurt man. My daughter tripped and fell on the street in London and really got hurt, blood gushing everywhere, but NOBODY stopped to help her!

    @PBMom: Hope you’re feeling better!

  9. @Joe:

    The selection includes buffalo, wild board, kangaroo, and camel.

    Should that be “wild boar”? Of that list, I’ve only had the first two (assuming the second is “wild boar”).

    Now I’m wondering whether I can get Camel or Kangaroo for the Labor Day cookout…google here I come.

  10. Wow, I work five 12 hour days and don’t have time for the computer and the world turns upside down… So are you moving back to Van after Maximus’s last treatment or do you need to stay in TO longer? I hope you have fun with your down time, I’m sure it’ll go way too fast. Most important is to find a way to get Akemi’s visa renewed.

  11. If you choose the Kangaroo, you have to be careful not to overcook them as they are REALLY low in fat. Not too sure about the camel!

    What are “sliders” anyway?

  12. That Snakebar sounds right up your alley. You always order everything on the menu anyway. I’d love to go to a restaurant and have about 2 bites of everything they offer. You might move all over the country, but you sure don’t lose any of your friends. They (like us) seem to follow you everywhere. Nice to see Marty G and Mike PI again. And of course, Carl’s presence is so comforting.

    How was Alexander’s barbecue? Those sliders…can I just have a grilled hot dog? 🙂

  13. Oh Akemi how has Joe not feed you a S’more?? They are the best wrapped in tin foil thrown then retrieved from a camp fire!!

    Downloaded a comic app for my iPad and downloaded a lot of their free comics. Can’t wait to start reading them!!

    That was quite a storm we had this evening, how bad was it in Toronto?

    Have an awesome night Joe, have to get up early tomorrow to train a volunteer at my local ER dept. So I’m off to bed.

  14. I’m very excited for your comic book! Will it be hitting Amazon is my question, though. I don’t know of a single comic book store in my town, alas. 🙁

  15. Has your writing partner already left or just not like your dinners out?
    Eww… camel and kangaroo. No thanks.

  16. Joe, before you head out of Toronto, may I suggest you take Akemi to see Medieval Times? They will feed you (nothing special) but the highlight is the really tall knights, jousting. I bet that will absolutely floor the both of you. I loved my visit there.


  17. @Debra

    I have tried Kangaroo, as I was told it was very high in iron and low in fat. But I couldn’t get away from the fact that it smelt exactly like the fresh Roo meet I used to feed my cat!

  18. Heard anything from Jeff Lemire and his Q&A? I was curious when Sweet Tooth 4 was coming out.

  19. Hey Joe-

    Was wondering, if on one of your dining outings to Scarpetta you had had the opportunity to sample the much talked about Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi?


  20. Hey Joe,
    I just moved to BC but I have visited every summer. I love it here and I can understand why you do too. Have you ever been to the PNE? I went yesterday and watched “The Wonder Dogs”. It was great and there were also some pugs there. Ever been to see them?

  21. Someone found a stray chihuahua, who might have weighed 2 pounds if she was dripping wet, and brought her in to the police department. The officer who was going to take her over to the shelter and get her a bed and some dinner hooked up the leash and set her on the ground to walk her over to the shelter building. She looked at him and just dug her feet in. He said, “Oh come on, you know I’m going to win! You know I’m going to win! Come on, you’re killing me here! Oh, alright…” and of course he picked her up and carried her.

  22. The hubster usually brings home wild boar from hunting trips which we have made into really great sausage. I like buffalo – very lean. But I’ve never tried kangaroo or camel, sounds interesting. It’s been forever since I’ve made Scotch eggs, I’ll have to do that soon. The south Texas drought has dried up every garden, so there isn’t a squash blossom of any sort to be had anywhere.
    Nola S.

  23. Joe, please tell Karen that if she ever gets tired of Carl, contact Das and me, and we’d be happy to take him off her hands.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.